Get ready for wireless charging in the iPhone 8
According to a new report, those pesky wires may be going extinct.
So much of what we do these days is wireless – whether it's the Wi-Fi in our homes or the Bluetooth headphones we're wearing. But when it comes to charging our cell phones, nothing has really changed much over the years. We're still plugging a wire from our phone into an outlet. And twiddling our thumbs. And waiting.
It's 2017 – why don't we have wireless charging yet?
Well, the answer is it's coming. The CEO of an India-based assembler of iPhones let slip yesterday that the next generation of iPhones will have wireless charging capabilities. Assuming he's correct, we'll soon have one fewer cord to carry around.
To be clear, some form of wireless phone charging already exists. An Israeli startup called Powermat has installed special mats that rest on tables at Starbucks and on dashboards in a Cadillac. Placing your phone on the mat will charge it so, in essence, you're still tethered to something. A California-based company called EPC takes the Powermat concept to the next level by creating an entire table that can charge your electronics.
But these are not mass-market consumer solutions. You'd have to be at a Starbucks, in a Cadillac, or by one of those fancy EPC tables for it work. True wireless charging has remained, until this point, something of an elusive dream in the cell phone industry. On the heels of the Apple news, a team of researchers from Stanford University announced this week that they had discovered a way to wirelessly charge devices from a few feet away. So picture this: you could have the charger in your backpack or pocket and still be actively using your phone and have it be charging, without the use of any wires.
Other improvements expected in the iPhone 8 include a bendable screen, an enhanced Siri that uses artificial intelligence to learn more about your needs, a USB slot and adding technology that allows you to unlock the phone by taking a selfie. Apple may even be ditching the home button.
Building the new iPhone has become an international affair. Employees at Apple's California headquarters are coming up with new features for the phone. Engineers at Apple's R&D lab in Israel, at 180,000 square feet the company's largest outside the U.S., are working on new camera lenses and other developments. Australian scientists are working on the enhanced Siri functionalities. And the bendable screens are coming from Japan.
If previous years are any indicator, a new iPhone should be unveiled around September. This year's model is expected to be special, as it will mark the iPhone's 10th anniversary since it first debuted in 2007.
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